STORRS, Conn.--Nov. 4, 2004-- Will today's cultural treasures be locked in some electronic cupboard tomorrow because scholars 500 or 1,000 years from now have no digital key? A Xerox Corporation scientist posed the question here today to librarians and archivists from leading institutions around the country, who gathered in pursuit of a common standard for preserving and sharing the art, literature and hardcopy artifacts of yesterday and today.
"Access to collections of visual images is not only a business problem but also the key to preserving our cultural heritage," said Rob Buckley, a research fellow in Xerox's Imaging and Services Technology Center in Webster, N.Y., in a keynote address on the JPEG 2000 standard to a delegation of librarians, archivists, representatives of government agencies and professional organizations, and document imaging and compression technology experts.
The diverse group is meeting at the University of Connecticut to influence and accelerate the adoption of the JPEG 2000 compression standard in the library and archival communities. JPEG 2000 is a method created by the international JPEG 2000 Committee to compress large image files so they take less storage space and less time to send electronically.
Using JPEG 2000 could ensure long-term accessibility and preservation of cultural artifacts including historical documents, art, photographs and even film.
Xerox's Buckley was invited to speak to the select group because he is recognized throughout the color imaging industry as an expert, and he is a member of the JPEG 2000 Standards Committee. He chaired a section of JPEG 2000, developing part of the standard, and last April co-chaired the Society for Imaging Science and Technology's first Archiving Conference.
"Libraries and archives were not at the table when JPEG 2000 was created, so this gathering is pivotal for the further advancement of JPEG 2000 in our professions," said Peter Murray, assistant to the director for technology initiatives, University of Connecticut Libraries. UConn, one of the first libraries to use JPEG 2000 in its archiving activities, is hosting the symposium.
In addition to Buckley's speech enabling participants to better understand JPEG 2000 technology, the symposium hosted discussions aimed at influencing future versions of JPEG 2000 so it can better meet the needs of the library and archiving communities.
"This meeting bridges a gap between those creating the standard and the library and archives communities that seek to adopt it," said Buckley. "Libraries can see the many benefits JPEG 2000 has to offer. For example, JPEG 2000 allows multiple renditions to be available from a single compressed image. Using JPEG 2000, researchers located anywhere in the world can look at a specific document via the Internet and zoom in close enough to see details such as the scratch marks made from a quill pen or other fine detail. No other compression tool can offer this flexibility."
Representatives attended from organizations across the country, including the Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Louisiana State University, the Library of Congress, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Buckley's keynote offered a tour of the JPEG 2000 standard, demonstrated its capabilities and outlined possibilities for its use in digital image access and archiving applications.
Xerox's support of important standards such as JPEG 2000 is integral to its Smarter Document Management(SM) strategy, which helps organizations streamline document processes and information gathering in order to enhance productivity, spur growth and reduce operational costs.
Xerox operates research and technology centers in the United States, Canada and Europe that conduct work in color science, computing, digital imaging, work practices, electromechanical systems, novel materials and other disciplines connected to the company's expertise in printing and document management. The company consistently builds its inventions into business by embedding them in superior Xerox products and solutions, using them as the foundation of new businesses, or licensing or selling them to other entities.
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